How to predict property hot spots

Identifying property hot spots is an art rather than a science. It can be lucrative though, if you know which areas are likely to increase in value in the next few years. You can study detailed lists of property sales and asking prices, but part of the skill comes down to having the right instincts.

Signs of a hot spot

Even in a becalmed property market, there are areas around the UK that are defying the trend and enjoying price-booms. Those of who can recognise property hot spots at an early stage have the chance to make healthy profits. Look for a few useful clues.

  • Is the area about to be regenerated? A new transport link, or extra flights from a regional airport can make an area more desirable.
  • Is the area showing signs of gentrification? A lot of building and restoration work is a positive sign.
  • A sense of increased local identity and community spirit often indicates increasing property values Signs like a thriving gastropub, a local bakery or delicatessen all indicate a possible property hot spot.
  • Are the big companies sensing increased local prosperity? Firms like Waitrose and Starbucks have research teams identifying suitable areas for expansion. If they are moving in, the area is definitely on an upward arc.
  • Check the schools ratings. With education an increasingly-important consideration for parents, areas within the catchment of outstanding schools are enjoying mini property booms.

Property hot spots can be entire towns or villages, or small neighbourhoods of a few houses. Look out for estate agents clustering in an area: a telltale sign of values heading upwards.

Think long term

If you are patient, it is possible to anticipate infrastructure improvements well in advance and predict future property hot spots. As a general trend, the rise of home-working and e-commuting has meant that proximity to big cities is no longer imperative. Picturesque rural retreats will continue to enjoy increased popularity in the property market.

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